It’s almost as if, once NBC decided to dump iTunes, the network has been looking for every venue possible to make its shows available for digital viewing.
The latest place on the Internet to find NBC shows is Netflix, best known for its online DVD rentals. Netflix has signed a deal with NBC Universal (press release) to offer online episodes of “Heroes” and past episodes of other series such as “30 Rock”, “Friday Night Lights”, and “The Office.” Netflix subscribers will have the option of watching these shows immediately on their computers at Netflix.com or on DVD.
“Heroes” episodes will appear on the Netflix website the day after they air on NBC. There’s no word if each episode will be available throughout the season, or if shows will be taken down once new ones are aired.
Netflix is interested in increasing its TV content as it looks to grow its download business. According to Netflix content acquisition vice president Robert Kyncl, about 20 percent of the company’s core DVD rental business consists of TV shows. Kyncl hopes for the same percentage for digital downloads.
“Netflix’s aggregate content on DVD right now is 90,000 individual titles,” Kyncl told Variety. “My mandate is to continue increasing the availability of the same content in digital. We currently have 5,000 titles available (for digital download). Our goal is to increase that in order to offer our subscribers multiple delivery options.”
Frances Manfredi, NBC Universal’s domestic television distribution executive VP, told Variety: “This deal reflects the changing landscape of the entertainment marketplace and our objective of finding more buyers that complement our traditional customers.”
OK, kids. Time to get out your scorecards. Since NBC bolted from iTunes, you can download some of the network’s shows through Amazon Unbox and its own NBC Direct. Streaming options include NBC.com and Hulu, the joint venture between NBC and News Corp. (Fox) that’s still in private beta.